A Room of Her Own

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It was another morning. She got out of bed reluctantly. There seemed little point now. Nothing changed.

At first, she had been frightened, curled up on the bed, shivering in fear, starting at each occasional slight noise from beyond the door. In those early days, she felt as though she did not sleep. She lay turned on her side her knees drawn up and her arms wrapped around them. She watched the sliver of sky she could just glimpse through the small barred window high on the wall, opposite the huge wooden door.

She was a prisoner she knew that. The door never opened. Her food and a jug of water appeared through a small slot on the bottom of the door. Later, the empty plate and jug were retrieved the same way. In the opposite corner to her bed, there was a stone pedestal with a hole.

The bed was the only furniture and she still wore the same, now-ragged, dress she’d been wearing as she scoured the woods for nuts, berries and anything else edible on that last free morning.

She didn’t know how long she’d been here; she’d lost count of the days. There had been a time, after nothing too bad had happened and the days of fear faded, when she thought discipline and routine would be the answer. She had tired of just lying on the bed.

For a few days she got up at dawn, ate and drank, then yelled through the door for some water to wash herself. A jug of water and a rag had appeared. It was cold, icy water, but enough to wash herself and her dress.

Then she’d spent time walking, exercising, trying to remember everything she could, to keep her mind alive and looking for ways to escape.

Those days passed too, without change and now she just waited for something to happen.

Then, one bright morning, when she could hear birds signing as the sky reddened into dawn, she got up from her bed, sensing something had changed.

She looked around in the early morning gloom. The floor was bare. There was no breakfast or washing jug and rag.

It took her a moment or two of staring at the door to realise it was open. She did not dare to believe her eyes at first. She had dreamt of that door opening one day. The day when she would solve the mystery of why she was taken, and who had taken her, when she stepped beyond that closed door.

Now that time had come, but she could not move from her bed. She knew she should get up, go to the door and see what lay beyond it, but she could not.

Published by David Hadley

A Bloke. Occasionally points at ducks.

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